What Are You Doing Tomorrow?

There once was a young boy who had lived on the streets….

And once upon a time, I asked him how it was that he ended up on the streets.

I had spent a great deal of time loving on this young man, so even though I felt comfortable asking him his story, I was not prepared for the tears that literally sprung from his eyes and flooded down to his chin.   

Barefoot he shares his most personal story….

He was an orphan in the truest sense of the word. 

Both his parents had passed away.

Through sobs he tells me the story.

In fact, they had died within a short time of each other. 

Tears plunk from my eyes as I hold him close, 
listening to the details.  
My tears are now mixed with his.  

How can I even begin to imagine his heartache?

Before their death he had attended school.  
He had even excelled in his studies. 

Yet when they died, he suddenly didn’t have the privilege of school.  Instead, he went to live with a relative.  But the situation was not good.   The relative hadn’t wanted him, but had reluctantly taken him in, perhaps out of obligation.  

Abuse became part of his day. 

After enduring the abuse for as long as he could, he began to feel that it would be safer on the streets, so he ran away. 

But the streets are not safe either.  

Dangers lurk at every turn, around each corner, with each new person.

And the nights?

The nights are by far the longest part of the day, he says calmly.  

He fights sleep hunkered down in a box he spent the day finding.

Awake, crouched inside his box, hoping and praying that “they” won’t come.

Who are “they” I ask.    

“They” are the police.

The Police are known for their “round-ups”….kind of a way of ‘cleaning up’ the streets….gathering all the street boys found to the prison, where they are subject to the most brutal of conditions.    

He tells me that the worst part of the night is around midnight.   He hates midnight.
[Upon returning home, I set an alarm and watch the clock so I am praying at his midnight.

I learn he was grabbed once by the police.  It was just as he was about to fall asleep.  Harshly they had grabbed him, dragging him to their vehicle and shoving him in.   Hearing others stories he knew what was next.  He couldn’t bear the thought.  

As the police are taking him to the prison, he manages to get a hold of the door handle and throwing the door open, he flings himself out.   The impact causes his body to roll as he hits the ground.   

This has all happened before he even turns eleven. 

In his few short years, he has seen more of life than the vast majority have ever seen or will ever see.  

His face is sweet.  Yet, his heart is scarred beyond recognition.  


And today, thousands of churches across America paused to talk about the orphan, for which I, personally, am overjoyed.

But tell me friends….

How can we allow Orphan Sunday to be just once a year?

How can we neglect the staggering numbers of millions of orphans around the world waiting?

How can we pretend that 400,000 children in foster care in the United States of America alone only exist on one Sunday in November?

How can we ignore their cries?

At the risk of stepping on toes, truthfully, how can we really think a yearly mention is enough?

Because tomorrow the Orphan Crisis hasn’t ended.  The orphans didn’t get to “move on”.

Day in and day out they wrestle the same things: hunger, abuse, loneliness, sickness, frailties.  

They are still waiting. 

They are still hoping.

They are still crying out for someone to love them.

Nothing is different tomorrow for the orphan, 
unless we do something.

True enough:  Not all can adopt.  

But all can do something.

Here are some tangible ideas:

Sponsor an orphan.

Support the missionaries who have dedicated their lives 
   to caring for the orphan.

Gather some friends to write letters of encouragement or pack a care package} to missionaries who care for the orphan.  Spend some time praying together for them as well.

Foster a child/children.

Provide respite care for those who do foster.

Invite an adoptive/foster family over and celebrate the joys of adoption/fostering with them. 

Pray for the families in the midst of adoption/fostering.

After a family adopts, there are many, many adjustments, make a meal for them and tell them “We’ve got your back”.

Pray for reunification, but if that’s not possible, pray for a family for these precious treasures. 

Shop at Orphan Wares, where 100% of your purchase feeds street orphans through IVO’s Frontlines+ Street Feeding Program.
Hold a bake sale, yard sale or car wash and give the proceeds to  a reputable street feeding program or someone adopting. 

Christmas shop by buying from an adoption fundraiser.

And by all means:




You, my friend, may be the only voice your peers ever hear on behalf of the orphan.

Talk about the orphan crisis.  
Talk about the orphan’s needs.  
Talk about their lives.  
Talk about what hope does.  
Talk about what a difference family makes.    

We must be relentless. 
We must speak for those who have no voice.  

Speak up for those who cannot speak 
for themselves; 
ensure justice for those 
being crushed. 
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, 
and see that they get justice..
Proverbs 31:8  nlt

4 thoughts on “What Are You Doing Tomorrow?

  1. I make a similar speech each year at my women's Bible study. Usually in Dec. so many are moved to tears yet so many do nothing. This year my speech will include fostering, which I think has been harder than adopting, but God is still working! He is still growing me. That is an important factor. But what's even more important is that he is showing up in their little painful lives! Oh if you could see what He is doing. It makes the difficulties all worth it. When I SO badly want to throw in the towel, He reminds me that it isn't about me!!! So grateful for the reminder, even though its hard. 🙂

  2. Linny, I am asking for help for a family adopting from Uganda- their story is just like ours, they adopted a girl and learned she had an older brother (although we "found" 2 brothers and it was China) so we KNOW the heartbreak of these children and the desire to do the right thing- they are going back for the brother, he is 11. The blog is here http://confessionsofaneverydaymama.blogspot.com/ I featured them yesterday on my blog (Just a MINute Mom http://wwwourchinagirl.blogspot.com) because they need $7K before they go for their new son Nov 16. I know that God showed me their story for me to help. Because we had to fund raise to get our sons home, but it happened HE paved the way and took care of the miracles needed (one boy had aged out of the adoption system) and our boys have been home over 3 years now. I ask for help for this family to make a difference for this child, one at a time, till we have NO MORE orphans. Thanks!!

  3. This resonated so much in my heart. I live with a former street boy from Ethiopia – he is my son. Here is a similar post that I wrote about the reality that these children face. My husband and I have been called to move our family to Ethiopia to serve these very children. Thank you for your post and your heart. http://mercybranch.com/henok/

  4. My heart is so yoked to this entry that I just had to share it on my timeline. Thank you for your words, encouragement, and for speaking truth as you see it!

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